Reviews for Clarence the Copy Cat
Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 November 2002
PreS-Gr. 2. Clarence is a nonviolent cat, which makes him tremendously unpopular with the clientele at Sam's Sandwich Shop after a mouse appears and Clarence refuses to lift a paw to catch it. Clarence is banished from the deli and, in a wonderful double-page spread, he's shown being similarly ejected from other shops for sticking to his principles. He finally finds a home in the library, where the copy machine becomes his favorite spot. Grandfatherly Mr. Spanner calls him Copy Cat. Then a mouse shows up, throwing a children's reading group into chaos, and Clarence is expected to do something about it. The attempts Clarence makes to get rid of the mouse without hurting it are both heroic and hysterical, and Manders' cartoon-style art catches all the action as the critters make a whirlwind of books, brooms, and paper. A well-plotted, action-packed, comically illustrated story. ((Reviewed November 1, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Spring
Clarence the cat's peaceful ways make him an unpopular pet among the shopkeepers who want a good mouser. He finally finds a home in the library and claims the copy machine as his perch, but when a mouse appears, he worries that his time at the library is limited. Clarence's relationship with librarian Mr. Spanner is affecting, but the lighthearted illustrations outshine the overlong text. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Kirkus Reviews 2002 October #1
A mouse-loving, pacifist cat? A public library? What do these have in common? They're the main ingredients of the plot in this rollicking story about Clarence, who's banished from a sandwich shop because of his refusal to hurt any living creature-including those of the rodent persuasion. Sad and alone, the feline finally finds refuge in a "strange place [where] [h]undreds of books lined the walls of a big room." Like so many others, Clarence finds solace and a comfortable home in the library (the illustrations depict the Oakland Branch of Pittsburgh's Carnegie Library), especially because there's not a mouse in sight. Soon Clarence comes to be known by his rescuer, the friendly librarian Mr. Spanner (wonderful-an older man, no less, who conducts story times), as Clarence Copy Cat because of the furry one's penchant for sitting atop the photocopier. Life's very good . . . until a guess-what makes an appearance through a hole under the copy machine. As usual, Clarence refuses to take part in any mouse-chasing or -catching scheme. Attempting to think of ploys to get the mouse without having to resort to distasteful violence, Clarence finally-and literally-hits upon a method of permanently banishing the creature, thanks to the copy machine. Young readers and listeners will find this a humorous and satisfying solution to the problem. If only all mouse eradications could be accomplished in so simple and amusing a way. Librarians take note: Young customers-those in branches with or without mice-will find much to smile about here, and Manders's goofy, cartoony illustrations are filled with energy and child appeal. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 September #5
At the start of Lakin's (Don't Forget) appealing story, Clarence, a pacifist cat, gets evicted from Sam's deli: "Clarence stuck to his principles. He would not hurt mice." When he finally finds a new home at the library and the inevitable mouse arrives, Clarence eats the mousetrap cheese and builds barricades of books to keep the mouse at bay. Nothing works until Clarence leaps to save the mouse from the broom-wielding librarian, lands with a "big fat belly flop right on the copy machine glass," and photocopies of Clarence's terrified face scare the mouse away. Like sketchy caricatures, Manders's (First-Base Hero) action sequences and characters seem ready-made for animation, and when the spindly-legged Clarence sees the photocopy of himself as "a huge black cat with bulging legs, an enormous tummy, and whiskers that stuck out like arrows," the visual joke has wry resonance. While the library pictured in the book (patterned after a branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh) is curiously bland (title-less books of a uniform color fill the shelves), book lovers will find the picture of Clarence and the librarian nestled together in a comfy window seat a satisfying parting view. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2002 October
Gr 1-3-Clarence is supposed to help catch the mice in the deli in which he lives with his parents. However, since he can't "bear to harm another living creature," he is banished from the store. He tries to find a home elsewhere, but is thrown out when the owners discover that he is no mouser. The feline slinks sadly down the street and wonders if he will ever find a home. He finally curls up by the door of the local library, where the librarian takes pity on him and invites him in. Clarence loves it there because he is kept "well read, well fed, and well petted," but especially because there are no mice. He sits on top of the copy machine so often that Mr. Spanner calls him Copy Cat. Then, one winter day a mouse shows up for storytime. Readers will sympathize with poor Clarence and root for him as he battles with the rodent and finds a solution to his problem. Manders's appealing, full-color illustrations are lively and full of fun. Tall and skinny Clarence has a black coat and bulging yellow eyes, and is particularly comical when he stuffs his face with cheese or sits primly on the copier. Children will laugh out loud as they follow his adventures.-Kristin de Lacoste, South Regional Public Library, Pembroke Pines, FL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.